How to Start a Workshop Organizing Business

Workshops provide an important way for people to get together, learn, and grow. Workshops can cover just about any subject — from basket weaving to computer programming. What they all have in common is that they must be organized by someone, which is where workshop organizing businesses come in.

Workshop organizing businesses help clients achieve their desired outcomes through well-managed workshops. These businesses provide expertise and resources to help clients plan and execute workshops on the subject of their choosing.

Learn how to start your own Workshop Organizing Business and whether it is the right fit for you.

Start a workshop organizing business by following these 9 steps:

You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your workshop organizing business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

STEP 1: Plan your Business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.

What are the costs involved in opening a workshop organizing business?

Initially, you can expect relatively low costs for opening this type of business. You only need a smartphone and a laptop to meet with clients, keep track of information, and communicate with various service providers. You can charge all of the services needed to host an event to the client. That means you could start your business for as little as $500 to $1,000.

What are the ongoing expenses for a workshop organizing business?

Your ongoing expenses will include maintaining your technology (e.g., your smartphone and laptop), travel costs, utilities, and any employee wages. The goal in this type of business is to be able to pay for everything to host an event upfront and then charge your clients for those costs afterward with a markup. That means you’ll eventually have high ongoing expenses, but they’ll be covered by the fees you charge your clients after each workshop.

Who is the target market?

The business world is probably the most lucrative market for workshop organizers. Businesses have the money to host workshops and pay you for your services. But, if you prefer, you could focus on a particular niche market like art workshops and target that specific market instead.

How does a workshop organizing business make money?

A workshop organizing business makes money by charging clients to organize workshops. If a corporate client wants to host a cultural diversity workshop, for example, it might pay a workshop organizing business to develop and oversee that event.

How much can you charge customers?

The amount a workshop organizing business can charge its clients can vary greatly, depending on the type of event (e.g., corporate or social). It also can vary based on the experience level of the planner and the client’s needs. Many workshop organizing businesses charge a flat fee while others may charge an hourly rate. Social workshop planning can cost $12 to $75 per hour while corporate workshop planning can cost $16 to $150 per hour.

How much profit can a workshop organizing business make?

Most workshop organizing businesses charge clients a commission based on the cost of the workshop. If a workshop costs $10,000 to host, for example, you might earn a $2,000 commission. You’ll likely only have a few clients to start with so your profits won’t be high at first. But, given time and a larger client base, you could eventually earn a significant profit from your business.

How can you make your business more profitable?

There are a few ways to make your business more profitable. First, you could try to attract more clients and/or better-paying clients. As your reputation grows, you should be able to expand your client base and possibly get higher-paying clients to boost your profits. Another way to increase profitability involves finding additional sources of income, such as offering workshop kits online. Some companies offer kits that instruct users on how to plan and host their own workshops. These kits can cost $50 to $200 or more, depending on the topic.

What will you name your business?

Choosing the right name is very important. Read our detailed guide on how to name your business. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.

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After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account ( Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

STEP 2: Form a legal entity

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC prevents you from being personally liable if your workshop organizing business is sued. There are many business structures to choose from including: Corporations, LLC's, and DBA's.

Form Your LLC

Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC

Have a Professional Service Form your LLC for You

Two such reliable services:

Check out the Top Business Formation Services from our friends at StartupSavant.

You should also consider using a registered agent service to help protect your privacy and stay compliant.

STEP 3: Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!

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You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.

Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business's name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.

Open a business bank account

  • This separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Read our Best Banks for Small Business guide to find the best national bank, credit union, business-loan friendly banks, one with many brick-and-mortar locations, and more.

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Recommended: BlueVine is an online bank with free business checking and no hidden fees. Great for businesses who do not often deal with cash.

Get a business credit card

  • This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
  • It also builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.

STEP 5: Set up business accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate an Workshop Organizing Business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.

Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.

For information about local licenses and permits:

STEP 7: Get Business Insurance

Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.

Learn more about General Liability Insurance.

Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.

STEP 8: Define your brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

How to promote & market a workshop organizing business

LinkedIn is a great place to market your services to corporate clients. You also can take advantage of other social media platforms — particularly if you want to connect with a particular niche market. Pinterest, for example, would be good for art workshop organizing. 

In addition, you could write blog posts about workshop organizing on your website for content marketing purposes. If you focus solely on big corporate clients, you could advertise in trade journals and similar publications as well.

How to keep customers coming back

The best way to keep customers coming back is to help them achieve their goals. If a client wants to host a workshop on computer security basics, you’ll want to ensure attendees leave the event with basic knowledge about computer security. You also need to ensure they have a relatively comfortable time at the workshop in terms of food, beverages, room temperature, etc. If clients get what they want from the workshops you organize, they’ll be more likely to come to you again.

STEP 9: Establish your Web Presence

A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.

Start A Workshop Organizing Business In Your State

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Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.

Is this Business Right For You?

Individuals who start workshop organizing businesses tend to enjoy socializing, planning, and organizing. They’re naturals at making interpersonal connections with others and have a knack for taking a concept from idea to full-fledged workshop experience. If you’re the kind of person who loves putting together events, you might be ideal for this business.

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Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?

Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!

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What happens during a typical day at a workshop organizing business?

A typical day at a workshop organizing business involves contacting various service providers, planning events, and marketing services to future clients. It can take time to contact and schedule things like catering, information technology (IT) services, and rental spaces — and that just covers the services that provide support and a framework for the workshop. You also must identify your client’s goals and plan an event that will achieve those goals.

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful workshop organizing business?

Event planning experience is ideal for a workshop organizing business. If you have experience planning events, you can apply that to workshops. But, you may still have valuable experience for this type of business even if you haven’t worked as a professional event planner. Good communication and teaching skills as well as strong interpersonal and organizational skills all can prove beneficial in workshop organizing.

What is the growth potential for a workshop organizing business?

According to a survey of businesses, 85 percent of leaders and executives believe in person events are critical for their company’s success. Workshops represent an essential part of how businesses instruct employees, which means a capable workshop organizing business has the potential to grow considerably. But, that only accounts for the corporate world. People also participate in numerous other types of workshops. These also offer business opportunities.

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Take the Next Step

Find a business mentor

One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.

Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.

Resources to Help Women in Business

There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:

  • Funding
  • Events
  • Guides
  • Support

If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.

What are some insider tips for jump starting a workshop organizing business?

If you’re struggling to break into the industry, you may find it helpful to get your feet wet with pro bono work. For example, you could offer your services to a local charity and organize a workshop for them. You could then use the charity as a reference and your work for the organization as part of your portfolio. Then, when you approach a potential client and they ask what experience you have, you can use your charity work as an example.

How and when to build a team

There’s a limit to what you can accomplish on your own. When you want to expand your workshop organizing services to more clients, you may find it helpful to hire a few employees. Always conduct a cost/benefit analysis when hiring because you don’t want to spend more than you earn. But, it’s probably time to hire some people if you do the math and think you can serve more clients and generate more revenue with additional help.

Next Steps

Get more ideas with our Business Ideas Generator.

Check out our How to Start a Business page.

Sign up at the Business Center to access useful tools for your business.

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